Where on Earth? Week 12: Elephanta Island, Mumbai, India

I was so impressed with the guess by Stiv last week of Elephanta Island that I completely forgot to write this post on Friday! Sorry, but awesome job, Stiv! (And a shout-out to Carol B for backing him up!) Here I was trying to make the challenge a little more difficult and the Gadling readers still guessed it in less than three hours. Impressive.

I was in India a few months ago, and on our big Mumbai sightseeing day, we took a boat out to Elephanta Island. The thousand-year-old , hand-carved caves on the island were impressive, but what I remember the most is all the different fees we had to pay just to get there. Granted they were all very cheap by USD standards, but even so, we had to pay for the boat ride to the island, a fee once we got off of the pier and onto the island, another fee to be allowed to walk up the vendor-laced stairs, and then another fee at the top to enter the area with the caves. My friend had a video camera, too, so that was another charge — and then you couldn’t even use it in the caves!

This photograph was snapped just outside of the caves, looking out at an area where families sat down to picnic. Monkeys were everywhere on the island — eating trash, harassing dogs, locals, and tourists alike — but somehow I was still able to take this picture without a single one in frame. Amazing.